Tonto Apaches Head To Junior Olympics

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The Tonto Apache Track and Field team will be well represented at the Junior Olympic Region 10 championships to be held July 9 to 11 at Glendale Community College.

Of the 16 athletes on the Tonto Apache roster, eight qualified for the finals by finishing among the top three at the Arizona State championships held June 7 at Glendale.

The ultimate goal of the track team members is to turn in a top-three showing at Region 10 and qualify for the Junior Olympics national championships July 29 to Aug. 3 in Miami, Fla.

"The nationals is the biggest track meet in the world," Tonto Apache coach Billy Joe Winchester said. "There will be over 6,000 athletes from all over the United States."

Regardless of what happens at Region 10, Winchester is elated with the team's showing this season.

"They are a great group of kids. I am very proud of each of the members," he said.

Although the team didn't produce any first-place finishers at the state championships, several athletes won silver medals.

Among thee second-place finishers were Michael Waterman (young men; shot put and discus), Jordan Hinton (midget boys; discus), Alex Winchester (intermediate boys; discus and Valentino Doka (midget boys; shot put).

Third-place finishers were Josh Quotskuyva (young men; javelin and discus), Shauntel Begay (young women; javelin) and Hinton (midget boys; shot put).

Fourth-place finishers included Paul Burdette (young men; discus), Quotskuyva (young men; shot put) and Doka (midget boys; shot put).

Those youngsters could qualify for the Region 10 showdown.

"If you finish in fourth place, you can go if one or more of the other (qualifiers) do not attend," Winchester said.

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